A delivery guy with the drone. Photo by Jody Avirgan.

A high-tech drone equipped with a video camera crash-landed on Columbus Avenue and 61st street around 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The drone was probably owned by a hobbyist doing some video-taping — or, heh heh, the NSA.

“Just witnessed my first-ever drone crash,” tweeted Jody Avirgan. “What a conundrum. How often does $1000 of electronics just plummet at your feet? Hopefully the go pro was transmitting back to the owner.”

The delivery guy found the drone-owner’s phone number on the machine and called the person.

(Why isn’t Seinfeld around to do an entire episode about this? The drone, of course, would have been owned by Kramer.)

ABSURDITY, NEWS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. m.pipik says:

      The delivery guy should have called the police and handed it to them.

      This is not funny.

      Someone could have been hurt. Next time I might be the one under it.

    2. Sam says:

      Agreed. Police should have been called. Is it legal to fly a drone in Manhattan? It shouldn’t be.

    3. Ben Carlson says:

      I have a drone and live on the UWS. Flying around here is not a good idea as there are just too many people and drones have to respect other people, whether it’s privacy or safety. I totally agree that this was bad call on the pilot’s part, but do not jump to conclusions about privacy. More than likely he/she was trying to get a nice tracking shot down the avenue as that shot is way more interesting than watching some cat lover sipping tea by their bookcase.

    4. Eric says:

      Unmanned aerial vehicles must stay below 400 ft. and steer clear of airports and other aircraft.

      In the city’s parks they can only fly in designated areas and there are no such areas designated in Manhattan. If you see see someone piloting a drone from a Manhattan park, that person is doing so improperly.

      Back in 2013, a Queens man was killed by his own radio-controlled helicopter (it was several feet in size … MUCH bigger than a typical drone). It’s a rare thing but any device that loses power several stories up is not something you would want coming down on you.

      • Chang says:

        You have no idea what you are talking about. I fly my drone in CP all the time. YouTube “Manhattan drone”. There are certain restricted areas but otherwise it is mostly fair game. See detailed map below.


        • Eric says:

          Chang – I am afraid it is you that are misinformed.

          1. If one looks at the map on the link you cited you will see that most of Central Park is covered by the LaGuardia no-fly.

          2. From the NYC Parks Department’s own website … “No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to alight within or upon any park, any airplane, balloon, parachute, hang glider, or other AERIAL DEVICE, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for medical evacuation helicopters. For the purposes of this subdivision (e), voluntarily shall mean anything other than a forced landing caused by mechanical or structural failure of the aircraft or other aerial device.”

          3. The only areas you can legally use your drone are certain areas of …
          … in Brooklyn – Calvert Vaux or Marine Park
          … in Queens – Flushing Meadow or Forest
          … in Staten Island – La Tourette

          Please do some real research before you tell someone “you don’t know what they are talking about”.

          • Cato says:


            He paid money for his drone. AND he flies it “all the time” — AND in “CP”, no less. (Central Park? Chelsea Piers? Gotta conserve those electrons, pseudo-hipsters!) AND, if that’s not enough for you, there’s something on YouTube about flying drones in Manhattan! (I have to admit, I hadn’t realized that “YouTube” has now become a verb in itself.)

            How much more research could you ask? All those things show that he’s clearly entitled to do what he wants!

        • Anon says:

          Chang, don’t fly your drone. I know cops have charged New Yorkers with reckless endangerment for using drones in parks and streets. Go upstate or to Long Island if you want to fly it. It’s just too dangerous. Unless you ha an emergency that requires a drone, don’t use it in Manhattan.

    5. ScooterStan says:

      Holy Cwap…that NBC series “Person of Interest” is totally right in its opening lines…”You are being watched…” (yadda yadda).

      Time for the tinfoil hats and umbrellas !!

    6. Elias Friedman says:

      The thing weighs only a couple pounds, probably wouldn’t give you more than cuts & scrapes regardless of the altitude it fell from considering it’s un-aerodynamic shape. http://www.amazon.com/DJI-Phantom-Aerial-Drone-Quadcopter/dp/B00AGOSQI8#featureBulletsAndDetailBullets_secondary_view_div_1426348785763

      As for privacy, this thing isn’t going to be seeing anything that a perv with a good pair of binoculars or a telescope can’t see — close your shades, people!

      • Benny says:

        Cuts and scrapes regardless, if a drone bonks me I promise you the owner will have a lawsuit on his hands. I am, after all, an Upper West Sider!

      • Cato says:

        I should not have to dodge your thousand-dollar plaything any more than I should have to dodge the mindless morons who walk blindly down the street thumbing their electronic tele-playthings rather than watching where they’re going.

      • Christina says:

        I once got knocked on the head by a baby squirrel that fell from a tree. Got scratches from it too. Maybe I should have sued! But who?? The city? The squirrel’s mom? 😀

    7. Lucien Desar says:

      I bet within a year or two there will be “Drone Rage” when people start attacking drones.

    8. Bob Smith says:

      The Mormon missionaries in the background def have no idea whats going on.

    9. Edith Cresmer says:

      I guess it didn’t crash into someone’s head, fortunately. There should be a law regulating these “toys” or whatever they are. The city council is considering two proposed amendments to the City Code. The Granny Peace Brigade has responded to the proposals which are not strong enough. See: http://www.grannypeacebrigade.org
      for more information.

      • marion says:

        Glad to know that the City Council is addressing drones in NYC. Safety is a real problem as many have already mentioned. Surveillance drones violate our privacy and the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. And what if drones become weaponized in NYC? We need to tell the City Council to get a move on and resolve this issue.

    10. RM says:

      Someone was flying a quad copter with green and red lights, something like this one, above 88th st about four houses east of Columbus last year, late summer. Next time I see it I will have my slingshot ready, right after I’ve called the police.